Throughout three days of early voting in the 2018 mid-term election, more than 27,900 people voted early in Galveston County, local officials said Wednesday.
The turnout as of Wednesday far surpasses the turnout from the last time county voters went to the polls in a national election in which the president was not on the ballot.
So far the number of early voters has been more comparable to the turnout rate for the 2016 presidential election.
Following two days of early voting in the 2014 mid-terms, only 9,243 had voted. During the 2016 presidential election, 26,201 people had voted early after two days of early voting.
As of Wednesday, 12.1 percent of registered voters in Galveston County had already voted, according to the elections division of the Galveston County District Clerk's Office. In 2014, just over 20 percent of registered voters in the county voted early throughout the entire early voting period of two weeks.
Early voting in Galveston County in recent years has made up the majority of votes cast in any given election. It's too early to say if voter turnout this year will surpass the 2016 election, or if more people have simply showed up to the polls early in the voting period and if the surge will peter out through next week.
The most popular voting location in the county has been Friendswood City Hall, where more than 3,100 people voted over three days, according to the elections office.
The next busiest voting locations were the North County Annex building in League City and the West County Building in Santa Fe, according to the elections division.
Both League City and Santa Fe have local issues on the ballot as well as the national and state races on most ballots this year.
Early voting, which began Monday, ends Nov. 2. Election Day is Nov. 6.
TRUMP TALKS LOCAL ISSUES
Two things President Donald Trump said Monday during his rally for Ted Cruz in Houston seem relevant to Galveston County.
First, Trump repeated a claim that he made in June, that people in the Houston area had taken boats into the water as Harvey made landfall to watch the storm come in. On Monday, he said the boaters wanted to "show their wife how great they are."
Trump's story is untrue. There were no reports of storm-watchers in Galveston Bay or the Gulf of Mexico.
Trump may have been referring to people who used small, personal boats to rescue people from their flooded homes, though he did not offer praise to those people.
In another part of the speech, Trump made an apparent reference to the coastal spine, the miles-long storm surge barrier that Texas officials have long hoped could be built on Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula.
Trump ribbed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for asking for $10 billion for the barrier.
“I said, 'Greg, that’s the most expensive dam I’ve ever heard of,'" Trump said. "Would you name it the Trump Dam, please?”
In October 2017, Abbott sent a list of hurricane relief projects to the federal government, asking for $61 billion in funding. Among those projects was a $12 billion request for the coastal spine.
So far, Congress has not funded the project and Trump has not signed off on it. A report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is expected to be released this week recommending some variation on the coastal spine. That recommendation could cost as much as $20 billion.
Trump did not mention the Santa Fe High School shooting during the campaign rally.
Ted Cruz's campaign bus tour is making a stop in Galveston on Friday. Cruz, who has not held a rally in Galveston County so far this year, will be at Moody Gardens, 7 Hope Blvd., at 8:45 p.m., according to his campaign. ... U.S. Rep. Randy Weber rode with President Donald Trump in his limousine during the president's visit to Houston. Trump signed a MAGA hat for Weber. Weber also appeared to bring along a copy of "Trump: The Game," though it's unclear if that got signed too. ... State Sen. Larry Taylor, speaking at the Galveston Economic Development Summit on Wednesday on naming the coastal barrier after Donald Trump: "I'm OK with that. Whatever you call it, build that wall."